CLOVER — The Clover High School girls softball team, currently ranked No. 10 in the state 4A poll, moved to 9-0 in Region 3-AAAA following Saturday’s 2-0 win over Northwestern.
Sophomore hurler Elizabeth Edmunds picked up her 10th win of the season in a shutout performance on the mound.
Marisa Harkey and teammate Blake Wallert provided the offensive punch, each with two hits and an RBI.
Wallert and Harkey continued to swing big bats two days earlier in a 15-0 conquest of rival York.
Wallert was 4-for-4, including an inside-the-park home run and five RBIs. Harkey was 3-for-4 at the plate with four RBIs. Brittany Rhinehardt had two hits, an RBI and scored three runs and Madison Tepfenhart had two hits, two RBIs and scored two runs.
Head coach Shea Hall lauded the players after the decisive win over York.
“We had good pitching and hit the ball well,” she noted.
With the Lady Blue Eagles being unbeaten in the region as well as the defending region champs, Hall knows what to expect from every opponent.
“We know we have to be ready to play every game, assures the CHS coach.
“I know I sound like a broken record, but I keep telling the players teams are coming after us. We will get their best shot.”
In addition to the proper mindset, Hall said good team chemistry has a lot to do with the recent success.
“The players like each other and pull for each other,” she said. “Team chemistry is something you don’t coach.”
In an interview after the game, Wallert talked about her inside the park home run, which impacted the game in a huge way.
“It felt good when I hit it,” she said. “I knew it would carry. I hit the ball well tonight.”
Brooke Rhinehardt, a junior outfielder, belted a triple in the third inning that sent two runs across the plate.
“My triple was a big hit,” she noted.
“We are playing well in the region. We are focused every practice, every game. We know we have to be ready to play every game to continue our success in the region.”
The Lady Blue Eagles scored early and often. Clover pushed across two runs in the first inning with Wallert and Edmunds delivering RBI singles.
The bottom of the second inning was more of the same. Tepfenhart singled and Paige Wallert followed with an infield hit. Brittany Rhinehardt singled home Tepfenhart and Brooke Rhinehardt’s ground ball scored another run.
Blake Wallert drove in the final run of the inning as the CHS girls expanded the lead to 5-0.
The Lady Blue Eagles broke open the game in the third inning, highlighted by Tepfenhart’s two-run double and Brooke Rhinehardt’s two-run triple.
Clover competed in the Azalea Tournament earlier in the week. Results will appear in next week’s Enquirer-Herald.
The Lady Blue Eagles return to Region 3-AAAA action Tuesday, hosting Rock Hill at 7 p.m.